What's eating my barrel?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by zoeper, May 25, 2009.

  1. zoeper

    zoeper Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2008
    I shot out a .243 Win barrel in +- 800 shots and i do not consider my loads as "HOT". I was shooting anything from 70Gr - 100Gr projectiles at speeds of up to 3450 fps.
    When i get a new barrel i was hoping to go for a 1-9 or 1-8 twist and sticking to the heavier projectiles of 105-115 gr and the main reason is to get better LR balistics (more retained energy downrange)

    The question is: "is my thinking is correct"
    1. I am reasoning that less speed at the word go should give me longer barrel life.
    2. heavier projectiles = less powder = longer barrel life?

    so what is eating my barrel?
    -Presure; (also higher temperature as a result)
    -Powder; (more powder = more gas produced= more hot gas through the barrel

    I would like if the "old hands"with earned wisdom or theories about this could chime in and enlighten us "not so experienced"
  2. EddieHarren

    EddieHarren Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2005
    The 243 Win. has never been known as "barrel friendly". Many NRA course shooters have learned that the hard way. Most of the really shot barrels , that I encounter, were fired rapidly in competition or in colony rodent hunts. I believe that heat is the biggest killer of barrels. The load does not have to be "hot" especially in an overbore cartridge like the 243 Win.

  3. Marine sniper

    Marine sniper Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2005
    No doubt heat, and improper cleaning kills barrels.
  4. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    The theory that heavier bullets with less powder will give increased barrel life would be disputed by some shooters. I've heard some say that heavier bullets keep the initial flame temperature and pressure at the throat for a longer period of time. Thus resulting in less usable bore life.

    I really don't know if either theory is correct or if they would make much difference. I shoot whatever I want and extend barrel life by NEVER shooting the barrels hot and by cleaning regularly while using coated rods and bore guides.
    Last edited: May 25, 2009
  5. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    As has been stated, the 243 is not barrel friendly. Some may argue that heavier bullets cause more damage and others argue lighter faster ones cause more damage. An overbore cartridge is an overbore cartridge. You cannot save the life of a barrel in an overbore cartridge by using one bullet over the next. If you want better barrel life, use a bigger bore. Improper cleaning can wear a barrel out faster than shooting as well. Also, using too much amonia for too long a time can cause damage as well. I dont even let a bottle of sweets or similar even look at my barrels anymore. Abrasive cleaners should also be kept to a minimum. One peice coated or solid carbon rods should always be used and kept clean. Bore guids are a must and DONT use patches that are extreemly tight fitting.
  6. MachV

    MachV Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2001
    Shot out in 800 rounds? Ya the 243 is not the most barrel friendly round but 800 rounds?
    I convinced myself that the old Ruger sporter I had a few years ago was shot out but that was only because I wanted to re barrel the dang thing anyway, truth was after 1200 rounds of doggin and deering it was getting a little tired but would still shoot MOA (even new it was never much better than that).
    My second 243 is a Savage J action that I bought in like new condition that now has 1050 rounds (from me) of 55 grain Noslers with 51.5 grains of H414 down the barrel. I've let it get hot but not smoking shooting at prairie dogs.
    This group was shot yesterday and is pretty representative of what its still capable of.

    Maybe I've been lucky cause I sure aint good but it would be interesting to know have a little more info.
    Define shot out?
    Barrel manufacturer?
    What cleaning rod do you use and do you use a bore guide?
    What cleaning solvents used and how long left in barrel?
    What powder was used?
  7. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    What powder are you using? The slower your powder the quicker it will "eat your barrel". Reference this chart

  8. happylilcuss

    happylilcuss Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2008
    WOW I think I am gonna make sure that mine shoots bullseye really well. 50,000 rounds I will never need another barrel... lol
  9. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003

    Not sure how accurate this chart is. I have nearly 1100 rounds through the Lilja 300 RUM using 100.0 of H50BMG and still holding consistent sub .5 MOA. The chart states <400 rounds for H50BMG. Also adding to the validity of this chart, 4320 is faster than 4064. The chart shows the opposite.

    Alot more goes into barrel life than type of powder used such as powder structure (ball versus extruded), pressures encountered, bullet materials, cleaning methods and reletive burn rate. Relative meaning that 4350 could be used in a barrel that typically runs 4064 but due to barrel tolerences runs "hot". 4350 could burn more like 4064 in a given barrel with a given bullet.

    I am pretty sure that if I ran RL19 in my 308's the barrel life would increase due to less heat and slower velocities. The problem is, I do not desire to run loads that slow.
  10. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

    Feb 11, 2008
    H414 + 55gr Ballistic Tips = Match made in heaven for the .243!!
  11. LRHWAL

    LRHWAL Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Just to be clear, this is a question and not a statement of fact as I have NO experience on which to base an opinion.

    I'm told that the way to get barrel life out of the 6mm's is to use slow buring (single base) powder. H1000 has been mentioned specifically in the 6mm's. If this is so (and it's pretty much atated as THE answer), then the chart is questionable.

    Not saying it's so, but all I've heard points to that. But then you know about hearsay! I just happen to trust the opinions of some of the parties who shared that information.